A semi-sated lower-class Roman stands in front of the pantry and mutters to themselves: "What else could I eat?"

What would be the most natural or idiomatic way of expressing this sentiment?

What I've found so far: "Quid aliud edam?" or "Quid nunc edam?" or "Nunc quid edam?"

  • 1
    This is a very interesting question. When I first read quid aliud edam I read it as, "what else would I eat?" As in, "of course it's food! What else would I eat?" But you want it to mean, "what else is there to eat?" I'm not sure it can mean that, but I'm also not sure it can't either. Very thought provoking.
    – Figulus
    Jan 24 at 0:33
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    Thanks @Figulus, you're confirming my suspicion that quid aliud may be read as a rhetorical question. Here I am definitely looking for a true question, as you understood well.
    – Roman
    Jan 24 at 11:44
  • I still can't say that quid aliud edam is wrong, but I wonder whether quid plus edam might be better, or quae plura edam?
    – Figulus
    Jan 26 at 4:33
  • Caseum Hollandicum edam, nonne?
    – Colin Fine
    Jan 29 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


I've been pondering this for a while, and I turned to Traupman for advice.

Under else in the English-to-Latin section of his dictionary, Traupman gives aliquid amplius for anything else.

So I'll suggest Quid amplius edam for what else can I eat.

  • 2
    I agree with this, with the elaboration that "quid amplius" means "what in addition", whereas "quid aliud" means "what other than [some contextually understood reference point]". Either could be correct for a given context, but quid amplius sounds right here. Jan 27 at 21:35
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    @Figulus: Is "quid amplius edam" an indirect question? For, "What is there to eat?", a present subjunctive passive, giving: "quid aliud edatur?" = "What else may be eaten?". Is this correct?
    – tony
    Jan 31 at 9:04
  • @tony I'm not sure the subjunctive is an indirect question, I'd rather call it a deliberative. But then I'm not so sure the line between deliberatives and indirect questions is necessarily very thick.
    – Figulus
    Feb 2 at 1:43

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